Follow the culinary adventures and misadventures of the Cooking Agents (Ray and Katie). Watch as we eat/cook our way into adulthood.
25 is a big year, right? You’re at the midway point of your twenties when society suddenly views you as a grown up and as a reward, you no longer have to pay some exorbitant fee to drive a rental car. What better way to start such a year than to attend an exceptional chef’s tasting menu by the lovely, never disappointing Barbara Lynch (love to love you, baby).
Why yes we will.
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The dragon fruit originated in Middle Earth where man would cultivate the fruit of dragon trees in order to sacrifice them during the summer solstice in order to be spared by dragon attacks during mating season. Hence the name dragon fruit (elvish for don’t get munched on by a dragon).
Better Get Your Hands on Some… Come Dragon Season
It’s really ironic considering the dragon fruit looks more like it’s from another planet rather than looking like a reptile with wings that may or may not breathe fire. Inside the red skin, there is a cream/off white colored flesh with tons of little black seeds. It’s almost as bizarre as the kiwi (the fuzzy brown skin still makes me suspicious)!
Help! My Fruit is an Alian.
In order to get to the flesh, just cut the top and bottom of the fruit off with a knife and then make a slight slit down the peel so that it just touches the flesh. Carefully peel away the skin and you should be able to remove it all in one piece. Be careful to not drop the fruit as it will be slippery. Cut into slices or bite size pieces and enjoy.
Peel Away and Eat Up
This was my first time eating dragon fruit and although it wasn’t a home run, I would definitely eat this in the future. The fruit was mildly sweet and juicy. The little black seeds gave the fruit texture much like a kiwi. A few sites I checked out indicated that the fruit is pretty low on calories, which is a plus since I pretty much consumed the entire fruit for a late night snack.
When I finally grow a pair, the durian better watch out.
This past weekend, Ray mentioned we went to Hampton Beach in NH on the way back from Portland. Living in Boston makes me realize how much I miss the accessible beaches of Long Island — private to LI natives for the most part (silly city folk), clean, and fine sand. Desperate for a cold thirst quencher – I’m pretty sure it was 90+ on Sunday, I saw a small stand near the local arcade selling Hawaiian Shave Ice. Note, there is no D in shave ice.
This is what I got — shaveD ice… as in with the D for hot mess Disaster.
Back in 2008, I graduated from BU and spent a nice chunk of my summer in Hawaii. Looking back, I could have been studying for the CPA exam, but I figured I’ll save that for my official adult life. It’s a good thing too! If I hadn’t gone to Hawaii, I would have missed the true shave ice experience (and the absolutely gorgeous beaches and hot surfers).
Shave ice is a sort of treasure. It’s like finding colored snow without the unsaid fear that a dog might have just marked its territory. The flavored syrup absorbs into the snow, so you’re not left with the typical thick syrup soup at the bottom. Unlike our normal mainland snow cones, this ice is like real snow. This is achieved by literally shaving a huge blocks of ice, rather than throwing it in an ice crusher. The latter just screams crunchy, granular ice. That ish is poho (slang for nonsense or waste of time). Go ahead, tell me you’re impressed with my seamless integration of Hawaiian slang.
Already, you can see the difference. The shave ice is much finer. You can also tell that the snow holds onto the flavor, unlike the first picture above where you can see the ice on top is beginning to lose its color. You may have also noticed the white in the picture directly above. That shave ice is covered with a drizzle of condensed milk, a typical condiment for this cold treat. I thought it added just the right about of richness without being too heavy. Mmmmm. I ate that baby three years ago, but I remember it so vividly. I would go back to Hawaii right now for a good shave ice.
Or maybe this.
There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. – Henry James
During my sabbatical, my mom thought it would be a nice treat for the girls of my family to go to afternoon tea and have a little chit chat catchup at the Garden City Hotel on Long Island. Having never been to tea before, I was pretty excited and the first thing I thought was what does one wear to something like this? Excuse me while I go find my pink powdered wig.
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No, I’m not a llama
Yesterday, I had a home cooked meal by my mom who served up black chicken also known as a Silkie. I would sum them up as small chickens with black skin, and dark dark bones and light gray/slightly dark purple meat. It is truly unappetizing in appearance compared to a golden brown piece of fried chicken or an oven roasted chicken with crackling skin. It is common in Asian cuisines to serve it in the form of soup as it is believed to have healing properties. Anything that looks like that must be healthy.
Buzz, Your Girlfriend, Woof.
My mom boiled the chicken along with some dried mushrooms and a few slices of ginger along with some salt and soy sauce. The soup had a lot of depth, tasted healthy and nourishing. Served with some plain noodles, it certainly was plain Jane. I received a leg and thigh. The chicken was tender and similar in texture to a regular chicken, but had its own unique favor rather than taking on more of the flavors around it. I would be open to having it again and think that once you get over the appearance, black chicken will become nothing more than just that, a black colored chicken. I’ll be adding this to my interesting eating feats including chicken feet, squid ink, frog legs and jellyfish. I’m still working towards rotten shark and insects. Someday.
Chinese Celery and Dried Tofu Stir Fry
Scrambled Eggs with Shrimp and Scallions